I’ve made a tough decision, one which impacts me in all the feels, but one which I’ve made for the right reasons.
I will not be attending or teaching at GenCon in Indianapolis this year.
GenCon holds a special place in my business: I truly began my teaching at GenCon many years ago when I first discovered felting. My husband, Randy, who had a rather significant following on Twitter (his favorite form of social media), began talking with his twitterverse about what I had taught myself to do, how he loved my felt paintings, etc., and it attracted the notice of Marian, the organizer of the SPA (spousal) events at GenCon. Marian asked if I would be interested in teaching some needle felting classes since I was coming with Randy (Geek adjacent, I guess), and I jumped in. Those classes, and the ones in following years, helped my hone my skills as a felting facilitator, and are a huge reason that I’ve created this website, www.stabthingsintoexistence.com, and The FELTit Experience. I am forever grateful for the opportunity that GenCon and Marian provided me.
GenCon also holds a very special place in my heart and memories: Randy and I traveled to Indy each year for several years, and would have traveled there in 2016, but we chose to buy a house instead of spending the funds for GenCon. And two months later he died. I traveled to GenCon in 2017 as a pilgrimage, really, to go for him, leaving a little of him behind in Indy, and seeing if I really belonged there without Randy by my side. After all, my geek was no longer with me. I told the story of Randy at each class I led that year, how he had introduced me to this wonderful community of geeky nerds who liked to stab things into existence (the slogan was most definitely born at GenCon), and visited with friends we made during our annual trips. I was assured by the SPA coordinators, and by friends, that I most surely belonged there, if I wanted to continue my annual trek.
The following year, GenCon was not possible as I had moved across the country, and then my father began declining and I found myself helping my mom for the final month of his life. Daddy’s funeral was on opening day of GenCon 2018.
Then last year, I had scheduled classes, arranged for my oldest son and his family to join me for the travel to GenCon, and ended up recovering from back surgery instead. So I had to cancel classes late in the game, and was watching GenCon from afar.
So, as I have scheduled two big trips for this year (Scotland in less than a month and a Caribbean cruise in June), and am planning four launches for The FELTit Experience, I am going to wish those of you who attend GenCon this year a wonderful con, full of amazing games and classes and workshops, and will keep in touch here, on FB and IG.
As Randy would say, init or what?